BOSTON — Some are turning annoying robocalls into cash.
It takes a bit of detective work and centers around the penalty for violating the do not call registry.
"The calls can be worth five to fifteen hundred dollars a piece," Consumer Credit Expert Doc Compton said. "I was getting literally 15 to 20 calls a day."
Doc Compton runs Robocalls Cash. For $47 the site sells the secret to turning the tables on telemarketers who use illegal autodialers and pre-recorded messages.
"They know that what they're doing is wrong," Compton said.
He points to a little known part of the "telephone consumer protection act" designed to protect you from auto-dialers and robocalls... It also allows consumers to collect cash from callers who break the law.
"You want to take the call," Compton said. "[But] if you ever try to ask them too many questions, a lot of times they'll just get a little skittish and hang up on you."
You have to find out what the caller wants and collect as much information as you can.
Show interest, he said, and they're more likely to reveal a company name, a website -- or better yet, ask them to email information.
Now you've got a way to contact them, cite the law, the penalty and demand your money.
"One of two things is going to happen, they're going to completely ghost you and disappear or they're going to negotiate," Compton said.
He says he has the wire deposits to prove his plan works.
"I mean if you've identified the right person, they've called you, they're on the hook," Compton said.
One company we tried insisted they'd only broken the law once, which is a $1,500 fine. The other denied calling at all.
But when we received another call from the same company, they immediately offered to settle for $5,000.
Now when those calls come, it's the seller who's sorry.
Political messages and those from 501C-3 non-profit-organizations charities are both exempt.
Anyone else who calls, texts or even faxes you with an automated message is breaking the law and that could be worth cash.
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